Posts Tagged ‘IFR’

Health Is Wealth, Especially When Abroad

September 30, 2011

In India, we are constantly surrounded by friends and family who are always with us during a crisis. Even if that crisis is of a medical nature, they are always present to help one face any situation. It is our culture that aids in this kind of help and support. And it is for this reason that in India, when we have a common illness like a cold, cough or a viral fever, it is not treated as a big deal, because help is immediately at hand.

There are ‘Gharelu Nuskas’ or home remedies. Also, there’s always a doctor who can be consulted over the phone, leading to a medicine course that starts immediately, arresting the illness. Unfortunately, things are very different abroad and one has to be extremely careful about one’s health. I realized this last year when an aunt who lives in Pittsburgh fell ill. What began as an innocent cold quickly spiraled into an ugly disease.

Reshma aunty has been living abroad for quite some time. Last year, she casually mentioned to my mother on the phone that she had a cold. My mother proceeded to tell her to do some steam inhalations and have some milk with turmeric. Two weeks later, we got an SOS call from a hospital in Pittsburgh and the doctor informed us that Reshma aunty was in the ICU with a very serious case of pneumonia!

Panicked, my mother took the next flight out of India to be with her. Everything got fine and aunty recovered eventually. But what we all realized was that falling ill abroad can never be taken lightly. I suppose because of the system there. A life and society where one is largely alone, with no support structure, things can go out of control rapidly and one has to be extra vigilant when it comes to health. Had she been in India, things would not have come to this, because the doctor would have come home at an earlier point and intervened. But abroad, one is alone, working hard and doing all household chores alone. As a result, one ignores small health problems, because it would mean going to a hospital; for which there is rarely any time. And that’s the reason why aunty’s cold accelerated the way it did.

But what the entire episode taught us is that health comes first and any  ailment is just not worth ignoring or trying to treat at home. When abroad, stay protected, stay vigilant and seek medical help the moment something feels wrong.

Which T20 Team Do You Favor?

September 28, 2011

In India, there are two kinds of people we worship unconditionally; our movie stars and our cricketers! Our nation thrives on cricket. It is our lifeline and we are extremely proud of it. And now our love of cricket and cricketers has extended into a similar kind of worship for our respective state teams in the IPL as well. Yes, we have had to make some tough decisions as fans, as our favorite players have been divided between various teams. But nonetheless, we have made our choices and remain ardent & devoted fans of our respective teams.

What’s surprising is that the same kind of following has also taken place among cricket loving Indians who live abroad. Recently, I happened to be in UK while the last IPL was in progress. I would regularly see scores of Indians in their homes or at pubs cheering for Knight Riders, Super Kings or whichever team belonging to their home state, just like we do in India.

This was really surprising for me. Many of these people were 2nd or 3rd generation NRI’s, who had almost never even been to India. But their enthusiasm, their emotions and their sentiments made it clear that the bond they shared with their erstwhile motherland and with their native states was extremely real and extremely strong.

It was a very proud moment for me, as I bonded with fellow Indians who had never been to India. But through our common worship of our respective IPL teams and the game of cricket, we were united as citizens of a great nation. I felt a strong feeling of patriotism, as I cheered for cricketers with strangers in a foreign land, brought together by the love of their favorite IPL teams.


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